AVISTA Restaurant – Gorgeous in Grosvenor Square

Restaurant Review – 4th July 2017

Restaurant:  AVISTA Restaurant

Address:  39 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HP

Telephone:  +44 (0)20 7596 3399

Website:  http://www.avistarestaurant.com

 

It is always lovely to be treated to dinner, especially when it is by my daughter.  She picked the restaurant following a diligent amount of research and sourcing a Groupon voucher for a Tasting Menu Experience – and what a good job she did!!

AVISTA Restaurant is located in the Millennium Hotel Mayfair on London’s Grosvenor Square, a delightful setting when the sun shines.  The interior of the restaurant has benefitted from a recent makeover and offers a light and airy space dominated by an open “prep” area where diners can watch dishes being finished off before delivery to the table.

Avista-main-dining-room_150

So, to the food…. The Tasting Menu is a journey through a series of Italian Classics with a very modern twist:

Tasting menu

First up, Raspberry bellinis and crackers with squid ink caviar and a cod mousse – a refreshing and crunchy start to the meal.  Quickly followed by a delicious Amuse bouche – a taste of parma ham and melon with a beautiful, light and airy foam flavoured with the essence of parma ham.

And then into the meal proper….

A delicately marinated salmon ceviche topped with a frozen tomato granita, accompanied by quinoa and avocado – we both wanted more!

Marinated Salmon

The next courses, a Foie Gras mousse with really interesting flavours of coca cola, cherry and cocoa – served almost as a creme brûlée.  In truth, for me it was just a little bit sweet and could have done with something acidic to balance the overall sweetness of the dish.  And then a wonderful pasta dish – Bigoli with a basil pesto, black olives and topped with a pecorino foam.  Simply beautiful and again we were aching for more.  For those of you who don’t know (and I was one of them), Bigoli is a pasta similar to spaghetti, but thicker.

For the feature course, we opted for the Beef Fillet Rossini (medium rare of course).  This was a stunning course.  An achingly tender fillet of beef with a beautifully caramelised Tropea Onion, slivers of girolle mushroom, a hint of black truffle and served with a rich, sticky jus……..  a fabulously executed dish.

Beef Fillet

Being greedy, we opted for the selection of three Italian cheeses accompanied by individual compotes ………  so lovely we forgot about a photograph…….  so here is the result… one little bit of rind left!

Cheese

Moving to the conclusion of the meal we had a Pre-dessert Dessert – papaya with vanilla ice-cream and then a Tiramisú – deconstructed into its individual elements and presented as a work of art.  It was lip-smackingly good!  Finally Petit fours…..

We washed all of this down with a lovely bottle of NZ Pinot Noir (£42.00) which worked well with each course.  Avista’s wine list focusses on Italian Classics which can be a bit pricy – they go from £33 – £550 along with a selection from France, Spain and a few New World countries – so there’s something for everyone!

The staff in the restaurant were polite, attentive and professional, and Chef Granato even came and had a chat with us – a delightful, talented young man –  watch out for my next Chef Profile.

To round out the evening we retired to the bar for coffee and a digestive – frankly we should have stayed at our table and ordered from there.  It may be the young man behind the bar was a trainee, but 15 minutes to order two drinks and one coffee, 20 minutes to deliver them and then 15 minutes to deliver the bill after it was asked for was really a bit much – especially as there were only two other people in the bar at the time.  Hopefully this was just a blip as it was out of character with the rest of our experience.

Despite the ending of the meal, I have no hesitation in encouraging you to eat at this restaurant if you have the opportunity to do so.  Better still if there is a Groupon voucher to off-set the cost.  The food is delicious, interesting and beautiful to look at.  Chef Granato has worked hard to earn three AA Rossettes – they are thoroughly well deserved!

 

 

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